Vodacom equips girls in IT
EMPOWERing women and helping young people increase their skillset through technology are important areas of endeavour for the Vodacom Lesotho Foundation.
This was said by Vodacom Lesotho Foundation Communications Specialist Thato Mochone during this past week’s “Code like a girl” camp in which girls aged between 14 to 18 years were equipped with website development skills.
The camp, which was held from Monday to Friday at the Maseru Mall-based Vodacom innovation Park, was conducted by female Vodacom Lesotho employees from the information technology (iT) department namely, Tankiso Chakache, Mathabo Mokoma, Tselisehang Molebatsi, Setsoto Hlohlomi and itumeleng Senekane.
among the subjects covered were website development using Bootstrap, CSS and HTML and basic design techniques.
One of the trainers, Vodacom iT Operations Specialist Setsoto Hlohlomi, said the camp was their contribution to the attainment of the Sustainable Development goals (SDgs) — a set of global goals to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.
Ms Hlohlomi said their focus was on attaining SDG five, of achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.
“This initiative is geared towards bridging the gender gap in the spheres of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” she said, adding that women were significantly outnumbered by men in those fields.
The participants, Ms Hlohlomi said, were divided into various groups. The winning team members each walked away with various prizes including Vodacom devices and airtime.
She said the goal of the initiative was to pique the girls’ interest in the field and encourage them to explore the “countless possibilities” of what they can do with code to solve problems in their communities.
“Because of this camp, these young girls will have a better understanding of programming, the future of computer science, and a desire to enter into a similar career field,” Ms Hlohlomi said.
“These girls have made me wish that i had learnt programming at a younger age. The progress they made in just one week is wonderful and i hope this will spark an interest in the science, technology, engineering and maths fields for those who were still unsure of the career path they would like to follow.”
Ms Mochone told the Sunday Express in an interview that the telecommunications giant was committed to foster gender parity internally and in the wider society.
She said empowering women and helping young people increase their skillset through technology were two important areas of focus for Vodacom as part of the company’s 10-year sustainable goals.
The company, Ms Mochone said, had set for itself the goal of being the best employer for women by 2025.